Even with small projects, glueups can still be a challenge. Trying to keep the workpieces in place while positioning the clamps can be a frustrating experience. To overcome this problem, I built this assembly station. It consists of a platform and simple clamp-holding blocks that hold my bar clamps in position, ready for gluing up the parts of the project.
The platform is made from 3/4" plywood. (You could also use melamine.) I drilled a series of 3/8"-dia. holes every two inches to create a grid. I also cut slots on each end for hand holds.
The heart of the setup is the clamp-holding blocks. Each of the blocks starts as a long blank. I cut a deep, centered slot down across the end of the blank sized to fit two overlapping clamps. The shallower slot is cut at a right angle that will hold the upper clamps. After cutting the piece free, drill a hole for the dowel peg that will hold it in place on the platform. Then just sand it smooth. All you need to do is arrange the blocks on the base and insert clamps into the deep slots. Then add the upper clamps in the other direction.